Ash O’Brien and her husband were socially distanced from everyone while they placidly ate lunch in a sunny San Diego park as their puppy frolicked nearby – until a woman entered the enclosure and stuck a mace can in their faces.

She also muttered something about the place being off limits for eating, they said, even though they were at a picnic table, where eating is implied.

A bystander caught part of the incident on film, and O’Brien posted it on Facebook.

“We were just sitting down eating lunch and minding our own business,” O’Brien wrote. “We were not wearing masks because we were eating. You can’t wear a mask and eat at the same time.”

The woman didn’t let up though.

“She kept calling us idiots and flipping me off,” O’Brien wrote. “Then she started saying more stuff and I told her to leave the park and stop harassing us.”

The woman did the opposite, first walking away, but then returning, walking straight up to them and pointing a can of mace, according to O’Brien’s account. Her husband stepped between them, and the woman emptied the entire can into his face, O’Brien said.

A bystander caught part of the incident on video, including the woman’s license plate. The couple drove to the hospital after the incident, and then filed a police report.

“If we knew there was a no food policy, we wouldn’t have brought it into the park,” O’Brien told KGTV-TV. “The lady who maced him automatically started saying stuff about us not wearing a mask when we were social distancing; there was no one near us.”

San Diego police acknowledged receiving a misdemeanor battery complaint, KGTV reported.

“I want her to go to jail,” O’Brien told KGTV. “She assaulted my husband, and I’m angry about it.”


(c)2020 New York Daily News

Visit New York Daily News at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.

Rating: 4.8/5. From 53 votes.
Please wait...